Tuesday 26 March 2013


OK, listen up,for I am going to say this only once. If you teach A level languages, you need to do an immersion. You will get as much out of it as your pupils. We have just had a brilliant two days despite the massive setback of snow and powercuts meaning that we couldn't do our usual residential at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra. We hastily made the decision to run it in school, given that the rest of the school had only a halfday left so we would have more or less full run of the facilities. We just had the Subway lunches and Chinese dinner delivered to school instead of Cultra!
We did a vast range of activities over the two days, including a treasure hunt round the school, Mentiroso game, a quiz, lots of song blankfills, Grupos Atados (where they had to wrap a present and write a card, tied to each other's wrists in groups of 5 or 6), a Guarida del Dragón activity based on Dragon's Den and of course, a DVD to finish the first night. This year we watched Volver.
Over the course of the two days, the staff delivered their same workshop four times, to a different group each time. I focused on Las Redes Sociales, using a visual jokes powerpoint from the #mfltwitterati Dropbox, as well as Tarsia to match definitions of social networking to the phrases or words and a series of questions to finish off.

All the staff had whistles which were used when we heard English. The perpetrator then had to sing in Spanish as 'punishment'.

Whilst there is no doubt that we put a vast amount of work into this immersion every year, it is worth its weight in gold both in terms of the pupils' spoken Spanish and also the rapport you build with the pupils and staff who participate. The buzz I feel tonight is hopefully being echoed around Greater Belfast as I type. Ánimo, you can do it too!

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